Trial Errors

Chances are that when you try something for the first time, you will learn from mistakes how to adjust your approach for the second try. After all, it’s practice (not first attempts) that makes perfect. When trying out a new approach for the profile features on the CREA website, I had to learn this lesson again.

The profiles have been very helpful due to their simplicity: a few basic questions set up in a Q&A structure. They can be e-mailed out with little fuss so the common issue of lining up two schedules does not become a problem, and viola! Add a photo and there’s a quick, on-deck post waiting to be published. ┬áIt’s almost too easy.

There was one pitfall. People tended to be brief in e-mails, and thus less content was present than would be garnered through an in-person interview. So I took the cue from my supervisor and conducted the most recent profile face-to-face. Asking the same questions, I received much lengthier answers just as we’d wanted.

However, I ran into a new problem. When speaking out loud, an individual can’t revise their words as one would with a written document like an e-mail. My most recent interviewee contacted me almost immediately after his profile went up, concerned that some of the word choice he’d made when speaking didn’t read as he’d meant it. Lesson learned: send a draft to the interviewer before publishing. This is a practice Dr. Wolek said was practiced by journalists. I suppose I had to learn from my first shot, but now I have the right approach for my next try.

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